The Best Cheap Hotels in New York City for 2023
Updated June 20, 2023
By "cheap," I don't mean some fleabag only a notch above a bench at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. I simply mean these hotels are affordable.
And not relatively affordable compared to the $400-and-up per night you can spend even in New York's standard hotels in high season. The hotels below have prices akin to what you'd find in other U.S. cities that get fewer tourists.
These clean, safe, respectable lodgings are all located within an easy subway ride of the attractions you go to New York City to see. You may not spot any design awards on display in the lobby, and you may see some signs of normal wear in your room. But so what? With what you save on accommodations, you'll have more money to spend on Broadway shows, tours, shopping, museums, and meals in one of the greatest cities in the world.
The Hotel St. James is a stalwart of the NYC affordable lodgings scene that spent its pandemic downtime productively, renovating all guest rooms. I'm happy to say a rise in rates didn't accompany the upgrades. Still, you'll sleep on stiff mattresses in rooms decorated with the type of mass-produced furnishings that can be a bit depressing. Fortunately, the front desk staff members are all super-friendly and the location, one block off Times Square, is a good one for avid theatergoers. To read our full review, click here.
The Carlton Arms Hotel may be the scruffiest place on this list. But because the owners bring in artists to create unique environments in each room (see above and below for examples), most guests don't care that the furnishings are old and the beds can be saggy. Prices are very appealing here, even during seasons when the city is extremely busy. To read our full review, click here.
I rarely see Americans at the Americana Inn (pictured above). That may be because all rooms share bathroom facilities, an inconvenience that's more accepted by Europeans than by Americans. That, and the institutional look of the place, may turn off potential guests, but the Americana has a surprising advantage working in its favor: high-quality mattresses. In fact, I'd say the mattresses here are more comfy than at hotels that charge twice as much. To read our full review, click here.
The decor at this usually affordable option in the Financial District recalls the late 1980s, when shiny surfaces were all the rage. In addition to having a wonderfully friendly staff and comfortable beds, the Artezen has a location that's not only convenient to worthy downtown sights (including the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Wall Street, the South Street Seaport, and the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island), but also all of the subway lines that will take you to the rest of the city. To read our full review, click here.
The Lodge Red Hook is primarily chosen by folks about to embark on cruise vacations, thanks to the inn's proximity to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Rooms are always affordable, but prices can rise a little right before and after sailings. Though the lobby is dull and the surrounding area is mostly warehouses, rooms at the hotel are quite nice, with kicky art on the walls, very good mattresses, and a contemporary streamlined look. The biggest downside to staying here is the lack of a nearby subway stop—you'll have to walk about 20 minutes to get to the train, and part of that journey may be along the highway. To read our full review, click here.
In Long Island City, a part of Queens that's just one or two subway stops from Manhattan, the New York City Vista (formerly known as the Nesva) is far enough from the elevated subway tracks to be nice and quiet, but close enough to make getting to the train an easy stroll. The staff is friendly and rooms are clean, though some show wear and tear (a chipped dresser here, a scuff mark on the wall there). Still, prices are always about $20 lower than at neighboring properties. To read our full review, click here.
New York's hotel rates are seasonally driven, so if you want a swankier hotel than the ones listed here, plan your visit for when it's cold. Prices plunge with the temperatures in January, February, and early March. Don't worry: There's plenty to do indoors.
For more money-saving travel tips, check out our list of 35 ways to see New York City on a budget.